Chapter 256: Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations
Eastern Descent City was extremely vast and there was no end in sight for its city walls. The citadel pillared all the way to the clouds. Among its ancient walls, there were countless mottled holes with numerous scratches from arrows and blades. Even up till now, one could still find broken arrows nailed to the walls.
Even though it was old and tattered by the arduous workings of time, the walls still had flowing lights running throughout. Each brick and boulder contained dao runes for these walls were reinforced by countless wise sages of the human race. Because of this, it was able to withstand countless years without falling.
Li Qiye started to recall the past while looking at this ancient city. Did modern society understand the past where the human race lived in a dark and tortuous era? At the Mortal Emperor World, the human race was once driven away with no place left to go. During that era, Eastern Descent City was one of the last bastions of the human race.
In the present times, how many people knew about the plethora of bloody battles that occurred right outside these walls during the human race’s darkest times? The enemy attacked one after another while the human race endured time and time again! The city had been shattered many times, but the human race never stopped rising again to rebuild these walls and reinforce them again and again while holding out to the very end!
Sad emotions filled Li Qiye’s heart for this city carried many memories for him. However, he didn’t want to think about the era of the Ancient Ming again — the darkest time of the human race! At that time, how many people by his side died in battle? In that era, how many invincible beings under his banner fought till their death!?
He went on like this while standing in a daze outside of the city. No matter the occasion, his heart always dimmed down when he recalled the darkest era.
“Brother Li, what’s wrong?” While he was in a daze, staring at Eastern Descent City, Chi Xiaodao called for him several times, but no response was found.
Chi Xiaodie looked at the stunned Li Qiye and angrily said: “What are we waiting for? Don’t tell me you have never seen such a huge and prosperous ancient city like this! Weren’t you boasting all the way to the high heavens earlier? Are you finally nervous now?”
Li Qiye was in a bad mood so after hearing such words, he coldly glared at her and slowly said: “Even if you don’t talk, no one will think that you are a mute. One is without all criticisms regarding a gentle and virtuous girl!” [1. The last sentence was a bit hard to translate to English, so I did change it a bit. The more literal version is — Young girls, gentleness and virtues are unlikely to be wrong. A phrasing fix will make it — gentle and virtuous young girls are without criticism; but this still is confusing, so I added an outsider perspective to make it adhere to the original meaning.]
Li Qiye’s sudden outburst had an unspeakable dignity, leaving Chi Xiaodie to be stunned for a bit. After regaining her wits, she was a bit embarrassed as she glared at Li Qiye and wanted to explode: “You!”
“We should go inside. There is not much to look at here!” Chi Xiaodao quickly tried to smooth things over and changed the topic the moment he saw the quarrel that was likely to ensue.
Chi Xiaodie snorted and ignored Li Qiye, then she went inside the city. Li Qiye was not in a good mood so he was too lazy to care for her.
After entering Eastern Descent City, anyone would be affected by its bustling atmosphere. There were so many people as they had to walk shoulder to shoulder. One could see people flying in the sky and walking on water; there were even those who were sightseeing underwater.
One could see a wide variety of races at this city, but of course, humans were the most abundant. As the origin of the human race, one couldn’t even count all the mortals, let alone cultivators. [2. This statement was a bit weird because there should be more mortals than cultivators, but since this is a cultivators’ city, it does make sense.]
One could even see the demon race here at the city whenever they want. Even demons who have not completely escaped from their beast bodies were very plentiful; human body with a serpent head, bird head with a serpent body, tiger body with a human head… Mortals have seen so many of them.
Even the rarely seen Ghost Immortal Race, Stone Golem Race, and Blood Race could be found inside.
For anyone who wanted to buy or sell treasures, Eastern Descent City was definitely the best choice in the eastern region. This was the origin of the human race so it had many great stores erected by the great powers. Because of this, a particular phrase was well known in the city — Eastern Descent City, there is nothing you can’t buy, there is only you lacking money.
However, after visiting many of the biggest alchemy shops in the city, they still weren’t able to buy the Rotten Underworld Bean.
“What is this Rotten Underworld Bean, why is it so hard to buy!” Chi Xiaodie asked Li Qiye after not being able to find it at many of the biggest shops.
At this time, Li Qiye’s mood had gotten better so he slowly explained: “It is not too strange to have a difficult time finding the Rotten Underworld Bean. It is not precious before maturity; it has to be buried with the dead in the same place for a long time in order to obtain a great medicinal effect before finally becoming precious.”
They went into several more shops without any results. As they were finding even more shops, they met a street vendor at the corner of a street who was trying to sell his treasure.
“Hi, immortal sir, look at this for a moment. This is an unrivaled sutra passed down by the Soaring Immortal Sect, how about trading a Virtuous Paragon Life Treasure for this?”
The street vendor put on a dignified look, creating an appearance as if he came from a great and ancient sect.
There were countless street vendors at Eastern Descent City so it was not strange to see someone advertising their treasures.
However, Chi Xiaodao, who was by Li Qiye’s side, immediately became excited the moment he saw this street vendor. He immediately jumped up and shouted: “Little thief, give back my medicinal ingredients!”
The moment he saw Chi Xiaodao, the street vendor who was trying to sell his treasures to passersby was like a mouse who had just seen a cat. He turned around and quickly fled through the sea of people.
This vendor disappeared in just a second. Chi Xiaodao and Chi Xiaodie, who wanted to chase after him, were not able to even see his shadow anymore.
“Follow me!” At this time, Li Qiye’s eyes narrowed as he shouted. He walked into the sea of people and reached for a fat middle-aged man while gravely declaring: “I actually want to see how many times you can transform!”
This seemingly ordinary middle-aged man amongst the crowd was completely different from the street vendor from earlier, but the moment Li Qiye’s hand approached, this middle-aged man lost his colors and immediately retreated. He then disappeared into the crowd without the same figure as the fat man just now.
“Keep on running then!” However, Li Qiye immediately followed into the crowd and reached for an old hunched-over woman! This shocked old woman suddenly shifted her position and rushed into another avenue filled with people. She went out of sight once again while Li Qiye was in hot pursuit.
This left Chi Xiaodao and Chi Xiaodie, who were right behind Li Qiye, dumbfounded with stars in their eyes. The escaping street vendor once again transformed into a pretty girl with jade-white skin, then a sickly person who coughed after every three steps, and then a buffed heroic man…
This street vendor always naturally became a part of the crowd without any openings. No one could ever relate his new transformation to his previous street vendor form. Even if it happened right before their eyes, the sister and brother duo would still not be able to tell that this was the little thief who swindled Chi Xiaodao!
However, regardless of his transformation and how he blended in with the crowd without any flaws, Li Qiye could easily find and distinguish him.
This really amazed the two who were following right behind him. It was as if this little thief’s transformation could not hide from Li Qiye’s eyes!
The four of them kept on running from one street to another. As for the pedestrians, they did not find this to be strange for this kind of thing occurred many, many times every day!
Eventually, the vendor stopped after entering a small alley and no longer tried to escape after all of his transformations failed to elude Li Qiye’s gaze.
“How is this possible!” The little thief stared at Li Qiye in astonishment with a pale expression and said: “This is not possible, my Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations have never failed before. Even an old undying would not be able to figure out my Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations. You, you, how did you do it!”
The little thief believed that his Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations was extremely magical and no one would be able to guess his transformation. He turned from one person to another and no one would be able to link the two. Even with a magical pair of eyes, one could not see any flaws in this technique. It would be as if his transformation was a real person!
However, his time-tested Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations had met its nemesis. No matter what he turned into, Li Qiye was able to tell with just a single glance. This was simply too unbelievable!
And so, this little thief looked at Li Qiye in a daze and didn’t think about escaping anymore.
Chi Xiaodao and Chi Xiaodie were just as surprised. They used magical gazes and still were not able to see through the thief’s transformations. In their eyes, his transformation compared to his true form were two completely different people that was without any discernable connection! Moreover, his transformation speed was extremely fast — within the span of a blink. They had no way of distinguishing between true and false.
However, this magical transformation was not a match to Li Qiye’s eyes. This was simply inconceivable to the utmost extent.
“Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations — do you know its true origin?” Li Qiye gave him a glance and lightly said.
The thief was stunned by Li Qiye’s words. He obtained this Nine Nine Eighty-One Transformations by chance. After he managed to cultivate it, it proved to be very useful. He could escape completely unscathed from many dangerous situations, but he knew nothing about its true origin.
“Don’t tell me you know its true origin?” The confused thief answered with a question.
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